No matter where you are in the world, everyone knows YouTube. The platform created a user-friendly interface that allows us to watch videos for hours on end each day in any genre that you can imagine. YouTube has been around for over 15 years now and no competitor has been able to even come close to touching its success. There are some interesting things that have happened to the video giant over the years, and here are a few of the more surprising YouTube facts.
5. Humble Beginnings
We might not have YouTube if eBay didn’t purchase PayPal back in the early 2000s. That’s because when the buyout happened, it made PayPal employees Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim very wealthy. They used the money to create YouTube after Karim was trying to find videos of a certain “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl and a tsunami that hit Indonesia. With that, YouTube was created and the first video came from Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
4. Sub Milestones
The names on YouTube have changed over the years, but the race to become the most subscribed hasn’t. Brookers became the first YouTuber to reach 10,000 and the numbers have ballooned since. FRED became the first to 1 million in 2009 and four years later Smosh hit 10 million. PewDiePie would be the first to reach 20 million, doing so in January 2014 when he was already the top subscribe getter. He held that title for 2,050 days before being surpassed by T-Series in 2019 and they have held the title since then following a three week back-and-forth.
3. Low Watch Time
You may have noticed that YouTube has been going all in on the YouTube Shorts program, highlighting shorter videos in a different format than their standard ones. That’s because short videos tend to get a lot of clicks and don’t require a lot of attention. In fact, nearly a quarter of the videos on YouTube are turned off before 10 seconds even elapse. That’s why you’re seeing the site embrace more of the TikTok length of videos.
2. Ads Pay the Bills
It may feel like it was more recent, but YouTube has been using advertising in its videos since back in January of 2009. The reason it feels more recent is because the website has upped the amount of ads you’re watching in recent years, including double advertisements before videos even play. Because of this, YouTube has made an insane amount of money, and in their most recently reported quarter earned $7.34 billion in revenue. Just a reminder, that’s only in three months.
1. Down with Dislikes
YouTube made a lot of headlines in December 2021 when it announced that it would be removing the public dislike counter on every video. Perhaps the reason is because YouTube itself uploaded the most disliked video in the website’s history. The 2018 YouTube Rewind was universally panned, amassing 20.1 million dislikes to make it by far the most disliked video. Other videos in the top five include “Johny Johny Yes Papa” (12.7 million), the Justin Bieber song “Baby” (13.51 million), the trailer for “Sadak 2” (13.7 million) and “Baby Shark Dance” (16.62 million).